Ryan Nelsen leaving QPR at month’s end
Ryan Nelsen (Reuters file)
All Whites skipper Ryan Nelsen will begin his new job as head coach of Toronto FC on February 1, the Major League Soccer club says.
Nelsen, 35, will play his final game for English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers against defending champion Manchester City on January 29.
The defender, who has no coaching experience, was hired by the MLS team on January 8.
At the time he had yet to negotiate a release from the London club he was contracted to until June 30.
Nelsen said he was finding it difficult to keep playing: "I am playing on glass knees and glass ankles. It is a bit of a struggle."
His international playing future remains unclear. The All Whites have two World Cup Oceania qualifying games against New Caledonia on March 22 and the Solomon Islands four days later.
QPR are bottom of the league and Toronto, which finished last in the MLS last season, open their new campaign against Vancouver on March 2.
Meanwhile, Nelsen will have at least one other New Zealander at the club after it signed Auckland-born midfielder Nik Robson in the draft.
The University of New Mexico product is a former New Zealand under-20 international.